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Orange County Digest

South Laguna : Alcoholism Expert Joins Program as Consultant

September 04, 1986|Marcida Dodson

Alcoholism treatment expert Dr. Joseph Pursch, who has treated such notables as Betty Ford, Billy Carter and Edwin E. (Buzz) Aldrin Jr., has been signed as a special medical consultant to South Coast Medical Center's chemical dependency program.

Pursch, a psychiatrist and former Navy flight surgeon, has been involved in the treatment of patients suffering from alcohol and other drug dependencies for 25 years. He treated Ford, Carter and Aldrin during his tenure as director of the alcohol rehabilitation service at the Naval Regional Medical Center in Long Beach.

Since his retirement from the Navy in 1980, Pursch has treated many professional athletes. He currently serves as program manager for the Men's International Professional Tennis Council, and earlier this year supervised drug screening of players, linesmen and officials at the Wimbledon tournament.

As consultant to the South Coast Medical Center's program Genesis, Pursch will assist staff in the treatment of patients, hospital officials said. Genesis offers hospitalization and outpatient treatment for dependency on alcohol, tranquilizers, amphetamines, barbiturates, cocaine and other chemicals.

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